Portimonense’s battle to avoid relegation from the Liga Sagres took a hammer blow on Saturday, while Braga edged Beira-Mar to move third.
A 59th-minute strike from Laionel handed Academica a 1-0 win over Portimonense at the Estadio Cidade de Coimbra, condemning the visitors to their 14th loss of the season.
After 17 winless league games that claimed the job of manager Litos, Portimonense had put together a promising run of nine points from their last five games.
But the Algarve club’s first league loss since February 13 leaves them in 15th and still five points from safety. With just five games remaining in the season, they face an uphill battle to avoid being relegated a year after clinching promotion to the top flight from the Liga de Honra.
Further exacerbating their mire is that 14th-placed Vitoria Setubal have a game in hand.
The equation is rather more comfortable for Academica, who moved to 12th ahead of the rest of the weekend’s programme.
At the other end of the table, last campaign’s runners-up Braga crept above Sporting Lisbon into third after a 2-1 win over Beira-Mar.
Brazilian Leandro Tatu gave the home side a 40th-minute lead, but an own-goal from 21-year-old Beira-Mar midfielder Jaime squared the ledger on 68 minutes.
Cameroonian striker Albert Meyong then gave Braga an advantage they would not relinquish, finding the back of the net seconds after his 71st-minute substitution into the game in place of former Newcastle midfielder Hugo Viana.
Braga have no chance of moving higher than second, but will be keen to hold onto third ahead of Sporting.
Beira-Mar are all but certain retain their top-flight status after winning promotion from the Liga de Honra last campaign. They sit in 10th and nine points from battling Portimonense.
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